Its official, flowers make you lucky...............
Today was a good day - I blame it entirely on the flowers, I'm sure they are lucky, even with the snow at the start of they day, which did make me a bit worried about getting to work. However, the roads weren't as bad as I thought it would be - I do a mini-commute at the moment - no public transport - so I take the car to work (generally laden with dog, camera etc) and a whole lot of clobber I often don't need (hats, gloves, jackets, scarves, wellies) but you never know! Today I wore my favourite lucky flowery boots pictured above and we needed a hat and many layers for the wintery weather! You need to wrap up in this weather.
Anyway today - first thing the lucky flowers brought me was being asked if I wanted a couple of old bales that were going a bit manky up on the farm (Yes please!) so I can collect them next week - yippee! The hens won't mind that the bales are old - they like some lovely straw to lay their eggs in and free straw will be all the lovlier. They need moved too, so we'll both benefit.
I've also been offered some extra work out of the blue, not much, but something that will keep me ticking along over the darker months when things can be a little quiet. Another yippee! I'm happy whenever I've been offered anything - if I can do it - I'll turn my hand at anything - and always happy to help out. Which is very good for my piggie bank, flowery of course! Meet 'flower pig'............our investment bank.
And best of all - la 'piece de resistance' - the nicest part of my day was a phone call I got just after lunch. A lovely chap I've talked to a few times phoned - to chat about growing his own at home - but not food, he is looking to grow his own fuel to heat his house - he's a small area of land we've been talking about and he's very excited about it all. Its wonderful when you can talk to someone who's really excited about the prospect of growing his own to help by heating his home. He can do this by choosing a selection of fast growing hardy trees to cut for fuel. Its a simple enough process, you plant fast growing hard wood cuttings quite close together - and in 2-3 years you can get your first harvest of wood. Awesome! I'm almost at the end of a project working with plants - and in particular at the moment I'm helping on a project that is looking at growing wood for fuel. Which is why it was so lovely to talk to this man, the project has been going for a while and its nice when folk are interested in growing some of the plants.
As you can imagine up here - with it being very windy, alot of woody plants struggle with the climate and we've not alot of forests, which means we've no local wood fuel. The main species we work with is the hardy types of quick growing trees like poplar and willow (hence the name of the blog..............) and we've a fair few different types up here which we're looking at to see how they grow. The fuel can be great in a woodburner - or an open fire, to heat a room or the hot water - good use of a bit of garden if you can get some fuel out of it.
Anyway, the nicest thing about today was being able to listen to this gentleman - he wanted to grow wood for a woodburner to heat the family home. Wonderful to hear the enthusiam in his voice about his progress and being able to discuss a few things which might help him. He's looking to plant a fair few willows (over 1000) in an area by his house - which he'll grow for coppice - to cut down every 3-4 years and harvest the wood - letting the plants regrow afterwards. He'll get a nice bit of shelter from the trees as they grow and a nice bit of heat when he uses the wood he's grown for fuel. Thats what I love about plants - they feed you, they keep you warm and they really do make you smile! I love willow, its a bit of a superhero - it's a plant we've used for centuries for medicine, baskets, fuel, fences etc but thats a blether for another day.......................back to the boots again!